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Macedonia: Ethnic Albanian Shops Attacked

Skopje, 1 May 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Shops owned by ethnic Albanians were smashed and burned last night in the southern Macedonian city of Bitola. The attacks came shortly after the burial in Bitola of four of eight Macedonian security officers who were killed Saturday by ethnic Albanian militants near Macedonia's northern border with Kosovo.

In the violence in Bitola, reports say several hundred people, including many young men, targeted dozens of Albanian-owned stores, restaurants, and other businesses. Police said the violence lasted for four hours.

At least several people were reported injured, including one alleged rioter who was shot. Police said they had detained the alleged shooter and two other people.

Police vowed legal action against the perpetrators of the violence and warned Macedonians to refrain from further violence.